Nathan MacKinnon shows Maple Leafs what accountability looks like

Dean Chaudhry
May 18, 2024  (3:58 PM)

Nathan MacKinnon weaving his way through the neutral zone.
Photo credit: Andrew Wevers - USA Today Sports

Taking accountability of your actions, especially as a leader, is important in the playoffs and something the Maple Leafs should learn from Nathan MacKinnon.

Sometimes it goes without being said that when you're defeated in the NHL playoffs, the leaders of your team will speak to the media and drop cliche after cliche about how the other team was really good and how their team is really close themselves. The Toronto Maple Leafs have almost always operated this way over the last few seasons, which has been more infuriating than anything else.
A couple short weeks ago, Leafs fans had to sit there and watch captain John Tavares discuss how the Leafs are "right there", despite losing in the first round in 5 of his 6 seasons as a Leaf. Nathan MacKinnon, however, had a much more respectable approach to his team's 2nd round loss to Dallas.
After last night's series defeat at the hands of the Dallas Stars, MacKinnon spoke to the media and went the other way with his interview - taking full accountability and sounding the alarms that they have to be better:
"It's a tough team, we payed two of the toughest teams in the league right the off the bat, and we didn't score enough, that's what it came down to. We didn't convert a ton of good chances, just gotta be better, gotta convert more.

We need to win, it doesn't really matter. We tried, everyone's trying hard but it's about winning and we need to find a way to get back to that and it's been two years now of losing on home ice, in the playoffs, which just not good enough."

MacKinnon and the Avalanche know what it takes to get over the hump and go all the way as evidenced by their Stanley Cup championship run two years ago. Since then it's been a tough hill to climb as they were defeated in the first round last year against Seattle before falling in the second round this year.
This season in particular, the Avalanche were without their captain in Gabriel Landeskog for the entirety of the year and playoff stud Valeri Nichushkin returned to the Player's Assistance Program mid-series, which severely challenged the depth of the team - so much so that Zach Parise was playing top-6 minutes.
Nevertheless, MacKinnon didn't use that as an excuse and implored that his club - starting with himself - had to finish their chances, had to create more offense, and just had to find a way to get the victories. Rather refreshing to hear from a superstar in our league today.
MAY 18   |   343 ANSWERS
Nathan MacKinnon shows Maple Leafs what accountability looks like

Is Dallas the best team in the West?

Yes, their depth is unmatched21061.2 %
No, Colorado got unlucky5716.6 %
Vancouver might be on par with the Stars7622.2 %
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